Saturday, December 6, 2008

Anglican Church in North America Numbers

The new denomination called The Anglican Church in North America has received what appears to be only 'theoretical' recognition from the GAFCON leadership - but the exent of which is unclear, nor is which primates it includes.

Curious to me is their claim of some 100,000 members, which is sometimes presented not as total membership but as (ASA) or average Sunday attendance. Let's see if either claim is accurate with some educated guessing.

As far as I can tell, the ACNA is a unified entity comprised of the following groups:

  • Convocation of Anglicans in North America (Nigeria) or 'CANA'
  • Anglican Mission in America (Rwanda) or 'AMiA'
  • Ugandan congregations
  • Kenyan congregations
  • Southern Cone dioceses/congregations
  • Reformed Episcopal Church (19th century denomination)
  • Forward in Faith
  • Anglican Communion Network
  • and some Canadian groups.

With some 63 congregations total, the CANA folks have a few very large congregations, so maybe they have 20,000 people. CANA on its own is the size of a medium size Episcopal Diocese, (but with some six bishops.)

AMiA has a bunch of growing church plants in seventeen missionary networks. I'm not sure about membership here - but I'm guessing it's around 20-25,000 based on the congregations I know about. This group has a strong growth model to be sure. Again, AMiA already is about the size of a medium sized Episcopal Diocese.

The Ugandans and Kenyans have dozens more congregations - but again - I'm guessing it's maybe three thousand people.

Southern Cone had dozens of congregations before the recent departures of majorities in four dioceses - Quincy, San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, and Fort Worth. Pittsburgh had about 1/3 stay in TEC, so about 10,000 left. Fort Worth and San Joaquin had about the same number leave. Quincy, well only about 800 left. Probably about 40,000 here now - at best. The Southern Cone group adds up to a significant sized 'diocese' as compared with The Episcopal Church. About the same size as the Diocese of Washington for example.

The REC has about 14,000 members - about the size of a smallish diocese itself.

The Anglican Communion Network equals zero - because it's realignment members have already been counted in the above groups (CANA, Africans, Southern Cone, etc.) where they all went over the past two years, and those not realigning from ACN (dioceses and parishes) can't be counted here. Forward in Faith, like the Anglican Communion Network, consists of realigners and nonrealigners - and the realigners are almost certainly already gone to overseas jurisdictions. So, that adds no new folks.

The Canadians maybe represent another 3,000, max.

So, the ACNA just might have 100,000 members. But, it would be surprising if 100% attended church each Sunday. Judging solely from the averages in Pittsburgh, San Joaquin, Fort Worth and Quincy, ASA tends to run around 40% of membership. Applying that to the whole ACNA means we're talking about 35-40,000 maximum on a Sunday.

By my educated guess the total membership is about 5% of the size of TEC, and the average Sunday attendance is also about 5%.


The Godfather said...

Five percent? Five percent! After all the wailing and gnashing of teeth, only about five percent of Episcopalians are pulling out to "realign"? From the way it's been reported in the press I thought the number must be MUCH bigger. Frankly, I was expecting to get a notice any day now saying, "Will the last one out of the Episcopal Church please turn out the lights."

Look, it's a shame to lose ANYONE from a church as small as ours, and I'll bet there are going to be some more losses before it's over, but with numbers like these, we ought as a church to spend more energy worrying about how to attract a 100,000 or, better, 200,000 NEW members, rather than moaning about the ones we've lost.

liturgy said...

Are you aware of the whole new/true Anglican Communion: